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Plate Welder

Course Code: APP-ENG

Level: 3
Subject area: Engineering, Automotive & Marine

Qualification: Apprenticeship
Course type: Full-time
Duration: 36 months
When you'll study: One day a week, term-time

About the course

As an apprentice plate welder, you will learn to manually weld plates and structural components to internationally recognised quality standards. You will learn the techniques involved in different types of weld and how to work with different materials to ensure a high-quality finish. This is a qualification that could see you working in a wide range of different sectors including: construction, marine fabrication and construction, defence fabrication, transport, and manufacturing of machinery and equipment. You could work in a range of environments across the world including: fabrication shops, assembly yards, construction/building sites, factories and operational facilities requiring maintenance and upgrade.

During this Apprenticeship, you will receive training sessions at City College Plymouth one day a week, term-time, to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry. You will also receive direct training from the business you are employed by for your Apprenticeship, who will work with the College to ensure you are reaching your maximum potential via regular workplace observations and reviews.

What you'll learn

An Apprenticeship is broken down into three learning categories: skills, knowledge and behaviours. For the Level 3 Plate Welder Apprenticeship, these will include …


  • dimensional and mechanical properties (strength, toughness, thermal expansion, etc.) of materials to be welded
  • common manual arc welding processes and the relative merits for a given application
  • common joint types associated with welding plate and structural components
  • major components of welding equipment, ancillary equipment, cabling and their assembly
  • set, modify and monitor welding controls
  • relative merits, applications and limitations of material preparation methods and manual material removal processes including powered and non‐powered tools
  • performance success factors in production, inspection reporting, productivity including time and duration, dimensional, non-destructive examination, defect rates etc
  • causes and detection of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced
  • requirements for correct storage, handling and segregation of materials and tooling to prevent cross contamination
  • organisational quality documentation, reporting systems, procedures and their role within the overall quality process
  • Risks and mitigation measures associated with welding and the working environment, and the organisational risk management processes
  • problems that may arise within their normal work activities/environment.


  • work safely at all times, comply with health, safety and environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements
  • can obtain, check and use appropriate documentation
  • plan and prepare welding activities before commencing the work
  • obtain, position and assemble welding equipment and associated safety protection
  • prepare, check and protect materials and work areas ready for welding
  • set, test and monitor key welding parameters as detailed within the specification
  • deal promptly and effectively with problems within the limits of their responsibility using approved diagnostic methods and techniques and report those which cannot be resolved to the appropriate personnel
  • use manual processes and equipment to remove material (powered and non‐powered)
  • produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two welding processes from TIG, PAW, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW
  • produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two materials
  • produce welds in plate and/or structural components covering three plate welding positions. which must include vertical (either upward or downward progression) and overhead
  • produce plate welds in three main joint configurations.


  • takes responsibility for decision-making, without autonomy and within the guidelines of the work instruction, for their workplace, the application of welding processes, and for their productivity
  • enquires and to seeks guidance, in order to understand the processes and associated industrial applications
  • committed to maintaining competence through Continuing Professional Development planning, preparation and reflection to ensure safety, quality and production and ensuring Continuing Professional Development goals are achieved
  • Intervene and challenge poor practices and have confidence to channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change
  • consistently and reliably delivers in accordance with expectations in safety, production, quality, ethics and self-development
  • encourages and supports the development of others and completes point of work risk assessments
  • follows the specified procedures and controls and be personally responsible and accountable for their production work and personal development
  • reflects on current and past performance and provides information and recommendations for continuous improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of working practices, and training and development requirements.

You will be taught, guided and assessed on the above topics over the duration of your Apprenticeship to prepare for your achievement. This will be done via tutor practical sessions and visits at the workplace from your designated assessor who will ensure you are competent in the job you are doing.

Entry requirements

To undertake this Apprenticeship you will be required to undergo an assessment with the course tutor. This is nothing to worry about! The tutor will have a conversation with you in order to assess your employability skills and your willingness to learn. They will also want to find out about any prior knowledge you may have. The assessment may include a practical task and a short workbook of basic questions about the industry.

If you do not already hold a GCSE at a grade 4-9 (A-C) or Functional Skills (level 1-2) in English and maths then you will be asked to complete a short assessment to determine what level you are currently working at. The results from this, combined with your tutor meeting, will ascertain whether we will be able to accept you onto an Apprenticeship and work with you to find an employer to begin your learning journey.


In order to achieve your Apprenticeship you will need to complete an end-point assessment. The end-point assessment is the name given to a series of tests you must take to prove your ability to do the job you have been training for. These tests take place at the end of the Apprenticeship following a period of training and development.

This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 36 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.

Important information

By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.

Enquire about this Apprenticeship via the button below


Callum Mather

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